I remember saying “I can’t believe…” or “the strangest thing happened” or something similar on several occasions throughout my life. As I began my spiritual journey, I started wondering if all the coincidences in my life were maybe more than that, but I didn’t give the subject much more thought than that.
A little over four years ago, I went away by myself for a week. This story deserves a more in-depth telling, but for the sake of this post, I’ll give you the short version. I came home with the realization that instead of waking up each day seeking God’s will, perhaps I should simply allow myself to be guided. This story deserves a more in-depth telling, but for the
Fast forward to February 15th. I was having lunch at the Chile’s in the Dallas airport. I was sitting at a table, but decided to move to a bar seat so I could charge my phone at an outlet. The lady next to me, Ann, and I began chatting, discussing our respective meals. Somehow, that lead to a conversation about Weight Watchers. She asked why I joined. I told her about having severe joint pain due to the estrogen blocker I am on. My oncologist suggested I eat clean and exercise to manage the pain, and I joined Weight Watchers as a result of that suggestion. Ann immediately shared about a good friend with stage 3 breast cancer that is having a double mastectomy next week. It just so happens that is only a few days before the 4-year anniversary of my own double mastectomy. I of course offered to speak with Ann’s friend and provide any support she may want from a fellow “pink sister”.
The therapeutic value of one _____ helping another is without parallel – you fill in the blank… addict, alcoholic, breast cancer patient, etc. Nobody understands better than one that has been there, no matter where “there” is. She said if her friend didn’t call that she would; Ann wanted to know how best to support her friend. What a beautiful gesture. It reminded me of the friends, acquaintances, and even strangers that walked, loved, and helped me through my journey. Pretty amazing coincidence, huh? Wait, there’s more!
At my gate, I approached the gate agent a to ask her a question about changing my seat. She began walking away from the desk, but I decided to follow her knowing full well that she wouldn’t be able to answer my question without being near her computer. I struck up a conversation with the gate agent, a woman name Jessica. I don’t even remember about what. Not long after the conversation began, I had a feeling I needed to give her one of my magnets. I’ll explain the story about them another time. The short version (for the second time in this posting), is they are purple, have butterflies, and say “You are special so be good to yourself today”.
I handed Jessica the magnet and tears came to her eyes as she told me that she needed that magnet at that very moment more than I would ever know. I reached out to hug her, and she held on to me as if we’d known each other for years rather than minutes. I found out that Jessica’s Dad passed away a month ago, and her sister had a heart attack two weeks later. She hadn’t been close with her dad at all. Somewhere in the conversation, I had told her about the gratitude lists I write, and she expressed interest in writing one herself. I shared with her about the recent passing of my brother’s recent passing, whom I’d been estranged from since 1984. I told Jessica that I found gratitude when learning about his passing (but not in the way that sounds). I was grateful I found a way to honor his death despite not having a relationship. After giving Jessica my card, I offered to share my experience in more detail if she wanted, and perhaps it would help her with her own grief. She assured me I’d hear from her.
What are the chances of my meeting these two women within an hour of each other, one with a friend getting ready to have a double mastectomy and one whose estranged father had recently passed away? Coincidence? You decide. I choose to believe that by letting go long enough, I could be guided to exactly where I could be of service to another human being. I don’t know about you, but at the end of the day, I believe that is my purpose in life – to serve others.